Truckers snowbound in Colorado on I-70 to receive survival kits

| 12/4/2008

It was snowing along the Front Range in Colorado Thursday, Dec. 4, with northern areas expected to get up to 7 inches.

And, although Interstate 70 remained open, there’s a plan to help eastbound truckers when the interstate is closed at Vail Pass.

Eastbound truckers are now being required to pull off and park at a so-called holding lot near Glenwood Springs when the pass is closed. It’s a remote location that has portable toilets, but not much else.

Chauncy Taylor, owner of the Johnson’s Corner truck stop near Loveland, didn’t like the idea of truckers being stuck at the holding lot for hours without access to food or water.

With help from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the state Motor Carriers Association, Taylor spearheaded a campaign to solicit donations from vendors such as Pepsi and US Foods to go into what he’s calling “survival bags.”

The group got together in preparation for the expected snow to put the bags together.

“And so yesterday we had a survival bag-stuffing meeting where we got all these supplies in from the vendors, staged them, and started putting them into the bags so each bag would have some non-perishable foods – you know, some beef jerky, some nuts, some pudding, some crackers, granola bars – stuff like that,” Taylor said. “And then obviously some waters. There’s flavored waters, the energy waters, and there’s also some regular waters.”

Taylor says they hope to haul the survival bags up to the holding lot tomorrow – weather permitting.

He says there’s no need for a similar holding lot or survival bags for westbound truckers because they have plenty of places to pull off when I-70 is closed at the pass.

– By Reed Black, staff writer